Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Host - Movie Review

While out on a movie night with my mom I saw "The Host", a film based off of the novel by Stephanie Meyer. After reading the "Twilight" saga I was all Stephanie- Meyered-out, so when "The Host" came out I couldn't have cared less. However, seeing the film has changed my mind. Perhaps Meyer's talent lies with Science Fiction instead of YA Paranormal Romance.

The movie begins with a voice over of Uncle Jeb (William Hurt) telling how wonderful the world is now that the human race has been taken over by alien parasites. Yeah, sure the world finally has peace but it's no longer our world. The Seekers of this Alien Race seek out the last of the Human resistance. Amongst these last remaining few is Melanie Stryder, played by (Saoirse Ronan) of course; she gets nabbed by The Seekers at the very beginning of the film. In her attempt to get away from them she tries to kill herself. However, The Seekers just take her near-lifeless-body and heal it with their advanced alien medicine. Now her body can play Host to another alien soul, called Wanderer or Wanda for short. But unlike other humans who give in to the invading souls and lose control of their bodies, Melanie refuses to give in and fights Wanda for control of herself. Especially, when Wanda is asked by The Seeker (Diane Kruger) to access Melanie's memories and finds the rest of the human resistance. Melanie will do anything to protect her boyfriend Jared Howe (Max Irons) and her little brother Jamie (Chandler Canterbury). Melanie plays on Wanda's sympathy and convinces her to help her protect the ones she loves.

Wanda escapes The Seekers at Melanie's directions and goes in search of Melanie's uncle Jeb, the one place she knows Jared and Jamie would go to be safe. What proceeds is an emotional journey for both alien and host. Wanda learns to care for humans and their spirits and Melanie learns to Love Wanda. I can't tell you how the rest of the movie goes, of course, but it is an interesting tale of survival and the human spirit. Also, this story has the classic YA love triangle but with a twist. Melanie still loves Jared who she met while she was on the run. On the other hand Wanda begins to have feelings for Ian O'Shea, (Jake Abel) one of the humans living in the cave-like refuge on Uncle Jeb's property in the desert. This is a conflict since Melanie won't let Wanda do anything about her feelings, but also can't stand to let Jared kiss her because he's also kissing Wanda. Confused yet?

Overall I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. I enjoyed all the casts' performances, even Saoirse Ronan whom I'm not particularly a fan. However, she felt like a good fit for this role of dual personages trapped in one body. I loved the location of the Human's cave hideout, not a bad place to live in a time of peace let alone during a global takeover. The ending was a little corny but not so much as to turn me off. Anyway, they kind of leave it open at the end for a sequel. I didn't know the book was part of a series but now that I do, I might end up reading this one after all. I'm still not a Stephanie Meyer enthusiast, and I'm most definitely not a Twihard (someone who is a die-hard "Twilight" fan). Still, I found this storyline far more to my liking than the melodrama that is "Twilight".

I'd give this film a three and a half star rating. Below you'll find "The Host" trailer and the cover art from the book. Now go forth and read the book or go see the film if you're interested. I thought it was fun. You might, too.

R.J. Craddock